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Ike Defends Nixon’s Charges Against Press

Jan. 21, 1963 - Former President Eisenhower (pictured right in 1952) says that throughout Richard M. Nixon’s public career “it seemed that a considerable segment of the press was on his back.” Gen. Eisenhower made the statement in a Saturday Evening Post article. The General referred to a news conference that his former Vice President held Nov. 7 after he had failed to unseat Gov. Edmund G. Brown. Nixon charged angrily that biased reporting had blocked his political comeback bid. Gen. Eisenhower would not discuss the wisdom of Mr. Nixon’s indictment, but he said, “He did have a point.” He asserted that “it was obvious that many of the reporters did not like him, and frequently their bias showed through in their reporting.” The former President added: “I believe in the freedom of the press, but I also believe in the responsibility of the press. Every public man must expect criticism of his official acts and opinions. What I am talking about, however, is not that kind of journalism. I am talking about bias in reporting and the arrogant sort of journalistic sharp-shooting that occurs daily in all too many publications. It could be that some day we shall have stricter libel laws as England has. I hope not. I hope rather that the communications industry of America will of itself come to show greater maturity.”

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